Updated: Jan 17
It's Christmas Eve morning, and the house is quiet, but for the jingling of Zelda the Beastie's dog tags.
We've had a lot of snow and now freezing rain here in the Pacific Northwest—not at all typical—so I anticipate a quiet dinner at home with MrB, my oldest, and maybe my mother and stepfather if the roads are better by the evening. Still, a third of my heart is around the world this Christmas as my youngest is on a ship for "sea year," fulfilling college requirements for the US Merchant Marine Academy.
One of the things I love most about Christmas is the abundance of real mail: newsletters, handwritten notes, photo cards, and even thoughtful gifts. I laughed reading author Christina Morland's annual newsletter, paralleling her family letter to a quote from Jane Austen's Emma: "one thing very clever, be it prose or verse, original or
repeated—or two things moderately clever—or three things very dull indeed." I love all the newsy bits!
On that note, I have a bookish announcement. And what jolly news right before Christmas! Woman in the Painting, my unpublished debut novel, placed second in Hearts Through History, Romance Writers of America's Romance Through the Ages Contest. Though I didn't win, receiving such comments from industry professionals is encouraging.
Please know how much I appreciate you and your enthusiasm on this road to publication for my debut novel. Writing is often a lonely venture, but I write so much better when I'm happy and hopeful; your encouragement through social media has been invaluable. To my clients, thank you for trusting me with your words. I've loved the process of helping your prose become a polished book. I'm looking forward to the next exciting chapter in 2023!
I re-watched Love Actually the other night and tried to pick my favorite storyline. But these are my favorite lines for sure: "Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion's starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don't see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there—fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge—they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I've got a sneaky feeling you'll find that love actually is all around." Wishing you peace, joy, and love from our house to yours.